‘I Don’t Want To Work Two Jobs’: College Of William And Mary Workers
Dining workers across the US were hit hard by the pandemic. Layoffs, staff shortages that have put immense pressure on workers (increasing workloads and creating long lines), requests by some schools for faculty and staff to volunteer to assist in dining halls—all of this has created nearly impossible working conditions. For all their sacrifices and best efforts, however, as working conditions have continued to deteriorate, pay and benefits have stagnated. As a result, some workers in this industry are attempting to unionize to improve these conditions and push universities to treat (and compensate) their workers better. For about five years, Ivory Merritt, a mother of three, has worked for dining services contractor Sodexo at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, a public research university that, founded in 1693, is the second oldest institution of higher education in the US.